Today in the World of Sports…
The issue of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard being elite or not is more overblown than last off-season’s discussion of ‘Can Maurice Jones-Drew handle a full rushing load.’ Garrard admitted more than two weeks ago at a Team Teal rally that “I [Garrard] was not elite last year.” Maybe I just need to hear another word besides “elite” being tossed around like its Halloween candy.
Head coach Jack Del Rio, in February radio and television appearances, stated that Garrard is not an elite quarterback. Most recently, while in attendance at the Interactive Sports Conference in Las Vegas, when questioned about whether Garrard is “elite,” Jaguars wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker replied that Garrard can be elite if he is given time to throw. And, whether former Jaguars receiver Torry Holt likes it or not, he is now in the mix, too. On Thursday, the seven-time Pro Bowl selection said on the NFL Network that he wants his next team to have “an elite quarterback.” This elite quarterback talk has truly gotten out of hand. I am eagerly awaiting the Tooth Fairy’s opinion on Garrard.
On NFL Total Access Thursday, free agent receiver Holt released the top ten of his NFL mock draft. Overall, Holt selected eight players associated with the offensive or defensive line. Safety Eric Berry and linebacker Rolando McClain were the two non-linemen chosen in Holt’s top ten. The latter, McClain, was Holt’s selection for his former team, the Jaguars. The oddest part was Holt’s omission of quarterbacks. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, who has been hailed as the draft’s most likely No. 1 pick, and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen were not on Holt’s list. Even if his mock draft is questionable, Holt plays the role of professional broadcaster quite well.
In his newest mock draft, NFL.com writer Bucky Brooks, a former Jaguars kick returner, has Jacksonville going with Alabama linebacker McClain at No. 10. In the past two weeks, I have been reading and hearing McClain’s name being mentioned with the Jaguars more and more. I am interested to know if the 20-year-old McClain is actually 6-foot-4. I never trust a player’s height and weight until I see them in person. But, in all the games I saw McClain play at Alabama, he had excellent quickness and could put a dent in a tractor with his hits.
Last month, former Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones found a new home in Cincinnati, Ohio. With a second chance in the NFL, Jones has a shot at making the Cincinnati Bengals’ opening-day roster. In an interview with Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Jones talked about his off-the-field issues. “It was immaturity. I have a good family and know right from wrong. You mess up and whenever you make a mistake you have to move on,” Jones told the Enquirer. Jones is working on his game at the IMG Performance Institute in Bradenton, Florida. At IMG, Jones is catching passes from former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Ken Dorsey. On Jones’ comeback, Del Rio said, “I think it was a lack of dedication, commitment and resolve. Those are the things he’s going to have to exhibit in order to have a chance of doing it. Talent alone won’t get it done in this league.” At least Jones now realizes the hard work and focus that should be committed to being an NFL player.
I love spring training baseball. I drove two and a half hours to Viera on Sunday to take in a Washington Nationals game against the Atlanta Braves. With lingering rain clouds in the area, the Nationals won 9-3. Since the clouds caused partial darkness, the Space Coast Stadium lights were turned on in the bottom of the fifth inning. Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was the player of the game with a first inning three-run homerun and four RBIs. The traffic control around the ballpark was top-notch, and it only costs five dollars to park near the Stadium.
I asked my friend if there is one player in the majors who the Nationals could acquire – contracts, free agency and other factors do not come into play – to become relevant nationally. I said the organization needs a star player, but also a hothead or a media target. I think Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder fits that role almost perfectly. Fielder could bring homers and explosive tirades to our nation’s capital.
Since the 2008 football season, is there any more overused word than swagger?
Richard Miller is a national broadcaster for Jacksonville Jaguars’ home games on Sporting News Radio. Additionally, he can be heard on ABC 1320 WBOB in Jacksonville at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays with The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show. Richard also contributes to Inside the Game every Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on WBOB.
Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2010.